How to Easily Make a Superior Ham and Potato Soup
We have always loved a good ham and bean soup made from the leftovers of an Easter or Christmas ham. When some good friends of ours who own a pig farm gave us 2 ham hocks, we knew just what to do with them.
I actually had another meal in mind when we were given the meat, so I didn't have time to soak some beans. Believe me, ham gets precedence over almost all other meat in this house. (The only exception might be prime rib!) To make up the missing half of my normal soup, I used red potatoes. They filled in very nicely.
My mother-in-law makes a delicious ham and bean soup that my husband loves. As with a lot of good cooks, she doesn't have the recipe written down. She cooks by memory and taste. But I was able to get her secret ingredient - bay leaves! She never forgets them.
You'll definitely want to use the best broth you can for this. All good soups are based on a solid broth. I'd encourage you to make your own if you have time. Check out my Homemade Tomato Juice and The Best Chicken Bone Broth for recipes.
This soup is done in 4 easy steps and about an hour and a half. Most of that time is spent letting the soup cook. You don't even have to defrost your meat. Mine was frozen and cooked through completely.
For a splendid dinner on a chilly night I hope you'll try this recipe. My family devoured it!
Superior Ham and Potato Soup
1 ham hock with meat, frozen or not
8 cups chicken broth
4 cups tomato juice
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
4 stalks celery, sliced
3 large carrots, sliced
2 pounds red potatoes (about 7), diced
1 onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1. In a large stock pot place the ham, broth, juice, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Skim any foam or scum from the top. Reduce heat to a simmer.
2. While the broth is heating and boiling, chop all your vegetables.
3. When the soup is reduced to a simmer, add in all the other ingredients. Cover with a lid slightly ajar. Simmer for about an hour or until the meat is falling off the bone and the vegetables are tender.
4. Remove the soup from the heat. Take the bone and any chunks of meat out. Chop the meat into bite-sized pieces and return to the pan. Discard the bone or save it to make one more batch of soup. Serve hot with a delicious bread!
Can I tempt you to try these out?
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